San Francisco Marriott hotel workers vote on new contract

SAN FRANCISCO — Marriott hotel workers in San Francisco voted Monday on a new contract, bringing a possible end to a coast-to-coast effort by workers for better wages and job security from the world’s largest hotel operator.

San Francisco is the last holdout of eight U.S. cities where nearly 8,000 Marriott hotel workers went on strike in October.

Last week, workers from hotels in Maui and Waikiki agreed to a new labour agreement and they are back at work at hotels such as the noticeably pink-hued The Royal Hawaiian in Honolulu. Earlier in November, Boston hotel workers ended a 45-day strike after ratifying a new contract.

In San Francisco, nearly 2,500 union members UNITE HERE Local 2 have were deciding whether to ratify the agreement and end a two-month strike that disrupted guests’ conferences and vacations. The vote came after union leadership and management reached a tentative contract agreement early Monday.

No details of the tentative agreement were immediately disclosed.

During the strike, groups of union members picketed and chanted outside hotels in the city’s heavily visited downtown. If the workers vote to ratify the agreement, they will go back to their jobs Wednesday at hotels such as the Marriott Union Square, the Palace Hotel and the Westin St. Francis.

Marriott International spokesperson Hunter Hardinge said the hotels “look forward to welcoming our associates back to work.”

Union leaders said the agreement could end the “longest large-scale work stoppage” that San Francisco’s hotel industry has had in decades.

Marriott has 5,000 hotels in the U.S. and Canada. About 40 of them were impacted by the labour union negotiations.

The workers in general better compensation and increased job security in an era of growing automation and eco-friendly customers who don’t want towels replaced every day.

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